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Let's Make Cause Marketing Donations Tax Deductible

If you go to a charity gala in the United States the price of the tickets is tax deductible after the cost of the meal and other benefits is subtracted. If you donate used household items or a used car to a 501(c)(3), you get a tax receipt from the charity equal to the fair market value of the donation. Donations of bonds or stock or art or gold or real property are all likewise tax deductible.

But currently cause marketing donations are not tax deductible.

The paper icon at the left benefiting my state's Special Olympics chapter from a local grocery chain made my wonder… again… why Americans can’t get a tax deduction for charitable donations generated through cause marketing efforts?

When you buy the paper icon… available in $1, $3 and $5 versions… the clerk tears off the bottom portion, scans it, and hands it back to you to sign. After you’ve done so, you keep the top portion and bottom half gets displayed in the store, a chain called Harmons.

It would be a simple matter for the back of the top half of the icon to have a letter of deductibility from the charity with a facsimile signature from the executive officer.

Because the paper icon has no value, the deduction would be for the full amount.

I won’t argue that a $1 or a $3 or even a $5 deduction will change the amount that Americans give to charity or increase the likelihood that they’ll give. I doubt it would.

But over the years I’ve see a lot of cause marketing donations that have been for $50 or $150, even $300 and more. That’s real money and it deserves to be treated the same as any other charitable donation.

What do you think? Should cause marketing donations be tax deductible?


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